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The veteran and the rookie: Canadians set for World’s Best 10K in Puerto Rico

National team veteran Lanni Marchant and rookie Trevor Hofbauer are in Puerto Rico for the World's Best 10K, which doubles as the region's 10K road cup.

World's Best 10K

I've never seen a palm tree in real life before, so check that off the bucket list. #SeeMyRun

A photo posted by Trevor Hofbauer (@trevhofbauer) on

Canada will be represented by Lanni Marchant and Trevor Hofbauer at the World’s Best 10K in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday. The event doubles as the North American, Central American and Caribbean 10K road championships.

The Canadian two-athlete team has the best of both worlds as Hofbauer, a rookie in terms of representing Canada internationally, will be making his national team debut while Marchant has represented Canada on the international stage at the world championships, Pan Am Games, and Commonwealth Games.

Hofbauer told Canadian Running on Friday that he had a big smile when first receiving his Team Canada kit (gear) adding that he “walked around the house a few times saying “this is so cool” every 15 seconds.”

Hofbauer has been vocal about Olympic aspirations and adds that he’ll be taking it “one step at a time and enjoy Puerto Rico.”

The Calgary resident and New Balance athlete also got to answer questions at the event’s press conference (see below tweet).

Marchant, the Canadian record holder in the marathon, is fresh off an extended training camp in Kenya and spent two days travelling in advance of Sunday’s race.

For the 31-year-old, racing the event had always been on her radar adding that “there are going to be races in my career with less than ideal travel, so I figured that should not be a deterrent in trying out the event.”

Marchant went directly (if it can be called direct) from Kenya to Puerto Rico on a six-flight journey.

“The trip actually wasn’t terrible,” Marchant told Canadian Running by email on Saturday. “I had Wesley Korir take me to lunch during my seven hour layover in Nairobi, Kenya and I was able to lay out across three seats from Dublin to Toronto [see below tweet] and catch a bit of sleep. I missed my connection in Toronto, but was able to stay at a friend’s place and it allowed for me to get in a quick run and a shower. So I’ll take that as a win.”

One of Marchant’s travel tips is to avoid sleeping on the plane until it’s nighttime at her destination. By the time she arrives, she’s tired enough to call it bedtime and the switch over is quite quick.

The NACAC 10K road race cup will be decided by the first overall finisher from each country in the men’s and women’s races. In the case of Canada, where only one athlete will run in each event, Marchant and Hofbauer’s placement will determine their overall score (the lower the better).

Canadian Running also got a sneak peek into what essentials Hofbauer brought to Puerto Rico:

World's Best 10K
Hofbauer shares his choice of footwear, nutrition, and hydration before Sunday’s race. Photo: provided.

Footwear: “The Vazee Pace is my go-to everyday shoe and my most worn out shoe, so I’ll be ditching them in Puerto Rico when I leave. For race day, no shoe is faster than the 1600.”

Nutrition : “I’ve been consuming Stoked Oats Oatmeal every morning for almost two years now. The local company based out of Alberta has really hit a home run with their oats, so I stay consistent with my breakfast. I’ve recently tried out Run Gum for my hard workouts. I’ll munch on a couple pieces pre-race as it packs a punch.”

Hydration: “I’ll consume a couple Nuun tablets per day to keep me hydrated.”

The race begins at 7 a.m. EST on Sunday (Feb. 28) morning.